“Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance,” HCSA message to doctors amidst blood tube shortage crisis

HCSA President Dr Claudia Paoloni has issued a message to doctors following reports that the global blood tube shortage is now at a critical stage.

Clinicians will be aware of the current restrictions on use of blood tests, which seek to minimise non-urgent testing. This is as a result of global shortages and consequential supply chain issues in the NHS.

As the medical profession is asked to exercise discretion, many doctors will be faced with difficult decisions – and the new cohort of foundation doctors, who are just a few weeks into their training, will need support to navigate this.

Dr Paoloni commented, “Senior doctors should be mindful that less experienced colleagues will need guidance in deciding what constitutes an urgent need for a test. Open dialogue will be key to rationing the supply. And if you are unsure, don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. It is better to err on the side of caution when supplies are tight.”

The NHS England guidance issued on 26th August is available here: